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Light My Fire!

By Tzvi Fishman
5/1/2010, 12:00 AM

Already on Thursday, we rode up to Tiberias and Meron with the elder Kaballist, Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi, to pay honor to the memories of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. We went a few days early to beat the well-meaning but over-pressing crowds who flock around Rav Leon, anxious to receive his blessing. 


Rav Leon spoke of the importance of adding the "Zohar" to one's Torah repertoire. The holy "Zohar" adds to a person's love and reverence of G-d, and has the power to improve a person's character traits. Studying its teachings helps a person in the battle against the yetzer hara.


"Isn't it foolish," Rav Leon stated, "to succumb to the yetzer hara for five minutes of pleasure, in pursuit of some sexual transgression, and then to be cut off from G-d for an eternity?"


He emphasized the teaching of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, as emphasized again and again in the "Zohar," that the foundation of the Torah and the service of G-d is sexual holiness. The holiness of a Jew depends on his eyes, he said, saying that this was the number one test of our times, "Not just outside on the street, but right in our homes with the advent of television and Internet."


Happy Lag BaOmer!


Rav Leon at the Tomb of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess in Tiberias.
Rav Leon at the Tomb of Rabbi Yehuda Bar Ilai on the road to Meron.
Feast in honor of Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Shimon
Outside the Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai
Rav Leon at the Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai
Boro Park Pizza, Meron
After midnight mikvah in the Sea of Galilee
Rabbi Kook wrote that the outward darkness and problems we encounter on the way to Redemption come to camouflage the light that is building into a great inner flame which will illuminate the world once the physical vessel is completed to contain it.